Wildlife

Good News for the Black-Footed Ferret
November 24, 2014 11:21 AM - Tex Dworkin, Care2

When you hear about an animal becoming extinct, most assume that the species is gone for good, never to be seen again. That’s not the case for North America’s rarest mammal, the black-footed ferret. 35 years after being declared extinct, the adorable critter is re-emerging in the western U.S. and Canadian prairie land.

If ladybugs move into your house this fall, make them welcome
November 21, 2014 09:49 AM - Rob Forman, Rutgers University

During the warm months of the year, ladybugs are like adorable, bright-colored lapel pins. They land on us, accessorize our clothing in brilliant red or orange with stylish black spots, and are delightful to have around. Several cultures even think of ladybugs as good luck charms for anything from marriage to childbirth to the weather to a good harvest. Then fall arrives and the ladybugs need to find warmth, which is most available inside people’s homes – where they often descend in large numbers. Suddenly they’re not as cute to many people as they seemed outdoors. But Jessica Ware, an insect expert and assistant professor of biology at Rutgers University-Newark, says having ladybugs indoors serves a very useful purpose, and humans should welcome their temporary houseguests. 

310 Species Added to IUCN Red List
November 18, 2014 07:46 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM

Today, 22,413 species are threatened with extinction, according to the most recent update of the IUCN Red List. This is a rise of 310 species from the last update in the summer. The update includes the Pacific bluefin tuna (moved from Least Concern to Vulnerable), the Chinese pufferfish (newly listed as Critically Endangered), and Chapman's pygmy chameleon (also newly listed as Critically Endangered). 

Study Tracks Southern Beaufort Sea Polar Bear Population Decline
November 17, 2014 12:30 PM - USGS Newsroom

In a new polar bear study published today, scientists from the United States and Canada found that during the first decade of the 21st century, the number of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea experienced a sharp decline of approximately 40 percent. The scientists, led by researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey, found that survival of adult bears and cubs was especially low from 2004 to 2006, when most of the decline occurred. 

New protection for migratory birds
November 14, 2014 01:53 PM - Editor, The Ecologist

Two new international agreements will help to save migratory birds from hunting, trapping and poisoning, and to protect their long-distance flyways. A key objective is to phase out lead shot within three years, and eliminate the toxic drug diclofenac.

Mongoose sentinels coordinate their duty
November 13, 2014 05:49 AM - Julie M Kern and Andrew N Radford, University of Bristol.

Just as soldiers on sentry duty constantly adjust their behaviour to match the current threat level, dwarf mongoose sentinels exhibit flexible decision-making in relation to predation risk, new research from the University of Bristol has shown. 

Biologists Julie Kern and Dr Andy Radford found that decisions about when to go on duty, what position to adopt and how long to remain on post were all affected by information about the likelihood of danger. Sentinels altered their behaviour depending on both environmental conditions, such as wind speed and social signals, such as alarm calls.

Want some crickets in that energy bar? Startup company Exo thinks you will like it!
November 12, 2014 05:29 AM - ecoRI news staff

If you care about saving the planet, then you really should be eating bugs. While the practice may not be widely accepted in the United States, Exo, a New York company with local connections that makes protein bars using cricket flour, wants to change that.

Exo, which is headquartered in Brooklyn, was founded in 2013 by two recent Brown University graduates, Greg Sewitz and Gabi Lewis. The two co-CEOs are hoping their line of products will normalize eating insects, which, in other parts of the world, are a common low-impact source of protein. In fact, insects contain more protein per 100 grams than dried beef, sirloin steak or chicken breast.

Raven rescue successful!
November 8, 2014 04:54 AM - Alicia Graef, Care2

Thanks to the kindness of a caring citizen and the expertise of wildlife rehabilitators in Virginia, a common raven has been successfully returned to her home in the wild after being rescued and receiving months of care and a feather transplant.

The raven was first spotted by Maureen Bergin, an IT specialist at Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield earlier this spring in the parking lot where she worked in Henrico County with missing feathers that left her unable to fly.

Better Management of Mediterranean Bluefin Tuna Needed
November 7, 2014 07:53 AM - WWF

As the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) opens its 19th special meeting in Genoa, Italy on Monday 10 November, WWF calls on delegates to stay cautious regarding the management of Mediterranean bluefin tuna. Despite recent indications that the stock is recovering, substantial shortcomings still undermine traceability of the fishery, allowing for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) bluefin tuna to reach global markets.

30-year study reveals startling decline in European birds
November 6, 2014 03:09 PM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

Bird populations across Europe have experienced sharp declines over the past 30 years, with the majority of losses from the most common species, according to the findings of a new study. However, the research conducted by the University of Exeter, the RSPB and the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS), found numbers of some less common birds have risen.

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